Last year I decided that I needed a job to work alongside my studies. Got a job at the Mc place, in the kitchen. At the same time as I started there my grandmother died, and she lived in another country and it takes around 12 hours to get there, and the planes went just every other day. Which meant I had to take time off.
At this point they had scheduled me at really odd times, during lunch hour rush despite them knowing I was a full time student, and scheduled me for 17-20 hours a week instead of the 8 that was in my contract. I had said I could work a little extra *if they needed me to*, but I apparently wasn’t clear enough. I knew that as soon as I returned from the funeral I would need to ask them to give me less hours, or at least not every single day time so I missed all my classes. Trading shifts was a pain in the ass, especially when I was new and didn’t know anyone. They also made me stay later so often, and once when I had plans and told them exactly that I had to leave when my shift was over because x thing, they still kept on coming back to make me stay. If I’d been a young kid I’d probably thought I HAD to stay, but this time I couldn’t.
I returned from the funeral and my mental health was down the drain. I was behind in school, grieving my grandmother, was stressed about the traveling, and that on top of work was a cocktail than ended up with me getting sick. A stomach bug. Before I got sick I had the opportunity to meet the lovely new supervisor. She replaced a guy who genuinely loved his job and was great at it. When she got even a little stressed she would yell at everyone. She yelled at a boy working his first shift because he placed the burgers in the wrong order during a rush, for ex.
I get very confusing directives when I call in sick. They’d already skipped a lot of my training, and hadn’t gone over the sick routine, so I suspected it was the same as my other jobs (health care and customer service). This wasn’t my first, second, or third job. I’m a “senior student”. Nope. Basically I misunderstood when they said “call everyday before the shift”, despite that I had a stomach bug and knew that I was out did minimum two days. They knew I wasn’t working the day after. Still has to call in for that shift. You are also entitled to up to a week as sick before you need a doctor’s note here in my country.
Because of my anxiety it sometimes messes with my stomach. I didn’t know at first if I was over it or not. So I called in for a 4th day sick since I wasn’t 48hrs post symptoms. Which is the hygiene routine, and I refuse to work in a place that skimps on that and I would’ve reported them if they did. I had 6 years in health care, so I knew.
It ended up with me being cussed out on the phone because they hadn’t given me information on the sick routine, that there was no way I was still sick. I apologized and said I’d misunderstood, but that I’m not yet 48hrs without symptoms so I can’t work. But I knew I wasn’t contagious the next day, so I’d come in then. I worked in the kitchen ffs! She proceeded to ask me “how the f could you think that?” (I.e call in this way) about four or five times and I would explain the same thing over and over again, that it had been a misunderstanding and I apologized etc. until I snapped and told her “I’ve told you why already”.
She then said I was on suspension until I had seen a doctor. I asked what I should do after I see one, and after I got the info I hung up before she got anything else out. I knew I wasn’t lying. I knew I was in the right.
After I hung up I e-mailed the manager and gave my 2 weeks notice, and asked what I should do with the rest of my shifts since I was suspended. After the weekend (this was on a Friday) the supervisor called me to apologize. Only she started the call with yelling at me because I didn’t answer when she called, but I called her right back. I’d been carrying my sibling’s luggage off a train. She then apologized, said I wasn’t suspended.
I worked another week there, but my anxiety was so bad because it was so stressful to see her there everyday. It’s difficult to convey how bad she is though this short story, but she was terrible. The last week I called in sick because my anxiety medication didn’t even help at all. The last week I worked they didn’t allow me lunch break on day because they had planned the staffing so badly. They knew I was leaving so they didn’t give an f.
When I called in the last week I made it a point to say “I’m sick, I know I won’t be better in time for my last shift, do I have to call before every shift?” Yes, I had to. So supervisor had to talk to me everyday, and then I was free.
In all my work places, all my superiors I’ve had, none were as terrible people as she. She had the ability to make you feel like dog shit for any small infraction or inconvenience. Since I knew that I would be treated better anywhere else I left quickly. I feel bad for the kids there, though, who will think that kind of talk is normal.
I ended up almost not being able to graduate on time because of how they scheduled me. Never again will I believe an employer will be respectful towards their employee. I’d had fantastic experiences up until then with employers.